Well, my fears were confirmed. I had heard these stories that Paul Blart: Mall Cop was tracking well and was possibly going to win the box office, even though a lot of other people were predicting and even hoping that other movies would do better.

Anyway, all the predictions are down the drain, because Paul Blart arrested the moviegoing public this weekend. It’s $33 million smackeroos for Kevin James and the mall crew. Which goes to show you that box office totals have nothing to do with whether or not movies being shown in theaters are any good or not. Paul Blart: Mall Cop had the lowest score at Rotten Tomatoes of any of the top five movies this weekend at the box office, at 28 percent. Even the die-hard movie fans are declaring their lack of enthusiasm for this flick — yet it still finished in first place!!!

$33 million! I just don’t get it.

I really shouldn’t be surprised, though, that the American moviegoing public would make a hit out of something that has all the makings of being the usual Hollywood piece of mediocrity. I guess kids wanted to see this flick. That’s the only explanation I can find. Anyway, I really shouldn’t be surprised. I’ve seen it happen time and time again for weeks and months on end where some movie that really doesn’t deserve a great showing at the box office just rakes it in and finishes in first place.

In fact, it was an upset-filled weekend at the theaters this weekend as Gran Torino held strong for a second-place finish. Notorious, the biopic of Notorious B.I.G., did much better than anyone expected and drew in $21.5 million, thanks to a big per screen average of $13,126. My Bloody Valentine 3D, which was picked by several people to finish first for the weekend and had some good reviews from the critics, only ended up third with $21.9 million. Its haul was pretty much in the ballpark, but as has happened to other box office contenders in the last few weeks it fell victim to better-than-expected showings from some of the other movies.

And what else is there to say about Clint Eastwood? It’s pretty clear that Gran Torino is going to end up the biggest money-maker of his entire career based on the showing this weekend. The box office haul is up to $73,232,000.

The good news from this weekend, from my standpoint anyway, is the showing of Hotel for Dogs. It finished a dismal fifth at $17 million, and I’m definitely happy about that. I am truly sick of movies with cute canines in them, and so is the public. Finally!!!

The final totals for the 3-day weekend:
1 Paul Blart: Mall Cop Sony $33,800,000
2 Gran Torino WB $22,235,000
3 My Bloody Valentine 3-D LGF $21,900,000
4 Notorious (2009) FoxS $21,500,000
5 Hotel for Dogs P/DW $17,707,000
6 Bride Wars Fox $11,750,000
7 The Unborn (2009) Uni. $9,849,000
8 Defiance ParV $9,206,000
9 Marley and Me Fox $6,325,000
10 Slumdog Millionaire FoxS $5,900,000

That’s all for now. Get ready for another big weekend next week — the first box office weekend of the Barack Obama administration, by the way — and we’ll see more of the Oscar contenders get a wider release than what they’ve been getting up until now. So maybe you folks who live in the boondocks might actually get to see these movies, now. About time. (I’m allowed to say that; I live in the boondocks, too.)

So we’ll preview all those right here at the Reject Report. See you later this week.


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